Jacket: Groove Boutique
Photos: Jennifer Christine Photography
Happy Friday babes! On the blog tonight I wanted to get a little more personal. A lot of you know but some may not, that my husband is a fireman. And with that comes many nights of being away from his family. And it is HARD. So for this post, I’m sharing my thoughts on what it’s like being a firefighter’s wife.
I came from a family where my dad worked a 9-5 job and my mom stayed home to take care of my brother and I. When we first started dating, I wasn’t used to not having Pete home every night. I slowly learned what it was like for him to be gone several times a week for 24 hour periods. There were many family functions, events, holidays or gatherings where I’d show up by myself. And almost every time I did, I’d have 5-6 people say to me, “Pete’s working huh?”. Over time that became routine and I got used to the fact that he wasn’t able to be there for everything because of his career. I grew accustomed to days/nights alone. But then kids came.
After Vinny was born, Pete was able to be home for almost a month to help me take care of our new baby boy. Having him there was a breath of fresh air. It felt so “normal” for him to be at the dinner table every night, for bath time, for feedings and for those restless nights. But that first month flew by and he was back at the fire station and I was “left” to fend as a solo mama. And I say that because at the time, that was exactly how I felt. I didn’t know what I was doing with a newborn and there were countless nights I was alone with this brand new baby in our life. But just like when we first started dating, I became accustomed to night’s alone with our Vinny. That didn’t make it easy however when Pete missed all the “firsts” in Vinny’s life. I remember recording his first 365 days to make sure his daddy could see every funny, sad, or silly moment. That was just the way it was.
Enter Mia. Here I was, with an 18 month old toddler and a newborn baby girl with a husband who wasn’t getting off work at 5 PM and coming home. That was a hard and trying time in our lives. Resentment set in. I was working part-time and trying to balance it all out with his work schedule. I had to calm down fussiness, diffuse temper tantrums, kiss boo-boos, rock over-tired toddlers, and pretty much play zone defense with two kids on my own. I questioned my strength in being the wife and mom I needed to be. I felt restless, angry, hurt, and overly emotional. My heart sank when I saw couples together with their kids when I was out alone with mine. And mine couldn’t understand why their daddy wasn’t also there.
As fast as I could blink, my toddlers became school-age kids. Our family was going through some hardships, all while we had t-ball, golf lessons, gymnastics, dance class, school functions, etc. I didn’t have time to think about Pete being gone, I was in (and still am in) full survival mode. There are days when I’m still not used to this life. But I’ve learned so many things along the way. I’ve felt proud to have my husband as a firefighter. It’s a job he loves and is so dedicated to. And he’s trying to balance it all out too, just like me. I know all those nights of him being gone sank in for him too. He couldn’t be there when he wanted to be. I had to remind myself how lucky I was that I could be there with our kids. That I didn’t have to wake up to a blaring alarm at 2:00 AM (unless you count a newborn cry as one lol) where I had to leap out of bed and save someone. Yes I often ran on little sleep, but not the kind of sleepless nights my husband had. I had to understand his job. I had to do what was necessary for us as family. Because that was always what he did and will continue to do for us.
I still to this day try to get used to it. I still feel many emotions being a firefighter’s wife. I still feel sad on Christmas morning when he’s gone. I still walk into family gatherings like a piece of me is missing. I still wish he was there when our son learns a new song at piano lessons or when our daughter has a dance recital. But I’ll never stop telling our babies how hard daddy works to make us happy and how much he sacrifices for our family.